Developing Financially Responsible Employees

Posted by Verity Homes on Jan 18, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Art Goldammer (Founder & CEO), Aaron Tackett (Chief People Officer) of Verity Homes, and Dave Scholten (GGOB Coach) talk about their brand promise and core values and how breaking methodology creates a more fiscally responsible employee who has a deeper understanding of how every dollar spent impacts the bottom line.

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Developing Finacially Responsible Employees


Episode with guests: Art Goldammer, Aaron Tackett, Dave Scholten

Founder & CEO / Chief People Officer / GGOB Certified Coach

(This episode was recorded in January of 2022.)


Key Episode Take-Aways:

1. Bringing your company's core values to life and using them to help make decisions. (click to jump to this topic below)  So, we, we consolidated the seven into three. And it's definitely the right thing to do. I think how about any employee in our company can rattle these off. And, you know, we hear people making decisions and throwing in one or two of the core values, along with their statement of why they made the decision as part of that sentence is not just, you know, hey, we follow this core value. It's, you know, or good job so and so for building peace of mind for a customer at this address.

2. Making forecasting a part of your culture to help you be successful and plan out what goals you want to achieve. (click to jump to this topic below)  He's (Dave Scholten) taught us to, to start at the endpoint and work your way backwards. And it allows us to take a longer time frame and look at it six months, at nine months, at the end of the third quarter, and start working backwards and making sure that what we are forecasting, we're going to be able to achieve. One of the things, as Arthur mentioned, in homebuilding, because of the fact that the initial action point could be 10-12 months out from the actual result, we have to take a longer term, or a longer timeframe, and look at that.

3. How The Great Game of Business helps to create financially responsible employees. (click to jump to this topic below)  I think the open-book management style creates a more fiscally responsible employee, someone who feels like they do have more control over their future in the in the organization. And I think it's a much easier conversation when someone asks for something, and you explain why you can or why you can't do something now and why it's got to be pushed to next quarter and their understanding of our books and what we're trying to accomplish. I truly believe it creates more buy in and creates more of an ownership mentality more of an entrepreneurial mentality.


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Announcer 0:43

Welcome to the "Change The Game" Podcast. Where we share stories of open-book management and highlight capitalism at its best. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the "Change The Game" Podcast. In this episode, Art Goldammer and Aaron Tackett from Verity Homes talk about their brand promise and core values, and how breaking methodology creates a more fiscally responsible employee who has a deeper understanding of how every dollar spent impacts the bottom line. Here's your hosts Rich Armstrong and Steve Baker.

Steve Baker 1:14

Welcome to the "Change the Game" Podcast where we are changing the game by doing business differently and highlighting stories of capitalism at its best. I'm Steve Baker and with me is rich Armstrong, co-author of our new book Get in the Game: How to create rapid financial results and lasting cultural change. Hello Rich.

Rich Armstrong 1:36

Hey Steve. How are you today?

Steve Baker 1:37

Really good probably because we are going to talk to Verity Holmes today. And special guests along with Art Goldammer, the founder and CEO of Verity, is Aaron Tackett, the company's first ever Chief People Officer. He actually has served for large public home builders, the largest in the country, and the second largest private home builder before he came to Verity. We're excited to learn more about that Verity Holmes is a home builder that offers customers in North Dakota's two big markets, a personal home building experience unlike any other and we're really thrilled to have art and Aaron and also their coach Dave Scholten. Hello and good morning, everybody.

Art Goldammer 2:23

Morning. Morning.

Steve Baker 2:25

It is so great to have you guys on I'm excited to learn about this because well first of all, you started Verity Homes Art in 2006, which I think is brilliant timing if you're going to get into the home building business. If I'm doing my calendaring, right, really interesting timing, would you walk our audience through a history of Verity and kind of where you came from and how you decided to get into this business?

Art Goldammer 2:54

Yeah, we'd started our parent company, which was a Home Improvement Company in 2002. And we're mainly doing roofing, siding, window, repair, you know, some storm work, kitchen bath remodel, you know, smaller, smaller additions, those types of things. And as we grew, we of course, grew our labor force. And at the time, honestly, I had no idea what I was doing in business, except for you without you sold, you sold things and you sold the service and you procured the materials to put the project together and you did it and you got paid. We got to a point where we had a really large work staff, we had approximately 80 guys on the payroll. And you know that type of work was pretty intermittent. So, we got into new construction, trade labor was pretty easy to take our you know, our sighting crews and our roofing crews, and then put them on new construction projects to fill gaps. And over time, we started to see the, I guess the juice in homebuilding and it wasn't on the trade labor side at the time. Like it is now and started doing some more custom homes and which led us to forming Verity Homes, which is a production semi-custom home builder in 2006.

Steve Baker 4:11
Tell me what Verity means.

Art Goldammer 4:13

Verity is Latin for honesty, integrity and truth.

Steve Baker 4:18

So, what does it have to do with your business?

Art Goldammer 4:21

Pretty much everything. [Laughter]

Steve Baker 4:24

I'm just poking at you. No, that's awesome. That is awesome. It really goes to what do you guys stand for? That's for sure.

Rich Armstrong 4:34

Hey, guys, you know, one of the things that you really focus on is providing customers peace of mind. And I was curious about what do you mean by that? What does that look like and how do you keep that promise?

Art Goldammer 4:48

Well, peace of mind is a brand promise but it goes beyond just what we're going to do for our customers. You know we came up with that as a team. For whom are we? And, you know, we exist to build peace of mind is what we landed on because it goes just beyond, you know, getting someone into a house and making sure that the warranties taken care of etc. You know, we feel like we've got an obligation to not just our customers, but our trade partners, our suppliers, our teammates, those that we do business with our investors, our bankers, you know, full circle, right. Everyone that the company touches and interacts with, you know, as well as giving back to the community and to society as best as we can. And that brand promise encompasses all of that. And, you know, it's really easy to follow easy to focus on statement that, you know, then is supported by our core values, which all tie in together to really bring a team together and provide that unity and that sense of purpose.

Steve Baker 5:53

You mentioned the core values, let's delve into those a little bit. These, these are really important to you, obviously, if you're concerned about all the stakeholders in this transaction, if you will, of building a home, not just your side, your people, the customer, but also the trades, and your partners. Can you share what your values are and how they help guide Verity?

Art Goldammer 6:19

Yeah, the real purpose of our values, again, is to provide that those statements that can influence every decision that an employee has to make, if we're unsure about, you know, if we were to go right or left on a project, you know, it'll help guide that decision. We started out with seven, and we're, we've consolidated them to three, the first of which is find the win four times. So, what that means is, in every decision, we want to make sure that we're finding the best blend of solution, output, outcome for, you know, for our team, for our customers, for our trade partners, and for our bankers. You know, we don't want it to be too lopsided, or for any one of those four pillars to not exist, because without the four pillars, over time, I feel the business can't be sustainable and profitable, and as well as you know, enjoy a good reputation in the community, to get that referral business. And to just have the collaboration and the partnership opportunities that typically result from doing the right thing and making sure that all parties are, you know, at least somewhat equal and not taken advantage of in any one area. Our second core value is Protect It. And that's a general statement again, for not just to make sure we have our insurance in place. So, we have, you know, our safety valves on our equipment covered or fire extinguishers in the break rooms. It's you know, it really goes into every part of the business, just when our staff is doing their day-to-day jobs and reflecting on this core value to protect it. They're thinking about, you know, am I doing this to the best of my ability? So, the next person that gets this piece of the work, is it, are we protecting the process? Are we protecting our fellow employees schedules? are we protecting our customers best interests? Are we, you know, are we making sure that we're doing everything from a legal standpoint, from an ethical standpoint, that we're protecting our reputation, that we're protecting our, you know, our core business. It's really all encompassing, situational awareness of anticipating, and looking out for those potential roadblocks and obstacles that could pop up, that could be damaging to any part of, you know, that for us win. And that's, you know, that's been very paramount in, you know, again, guiding decisions and just influencing how teams interact with each other. The final core value is to Be Legendary. And that's in a sports analogy, that's, you know, strive every day to be the hardest worker and to be to put your reps into practice to go above and beyond to, you know, to pick up the piece of trash if you're walking across the parking lot, even if it's not your job. To just to go outside to go above and beyond the minimum expectation that's typically out there. And you find yourself once you're surrounded with enough of those people that don't have that same mindset. I mean, a lot of momentum that comes out of that. That's pretty cool. That's good feeling.

Steve Baker 9:33

Very cool. Very much ownership, isn't it? I mean, people think and act and feel more like owners. So, I have a follow up for you art, protect it, find the win, be legendary. If I heard you, right, you said you started with seven core values, you consolidate it to three. Can you talk about that a little bit? Because I bet everybody that's listening has a list of core values that they'd like, but it's hard to remember all that stuff.

Art Goldammer 9:58

And that was it. We were just We started out with a strategic planning session with another consultancy 15 years ago and came up with, you know, me and maybe one other leader at the time, and that consultant came up with this, you know, cool mission brand statement. It's a long list of core values and they weren't alive. When we were working with different consultancy about 2015, we came up with our seven, and that the team came up with and we sat down in a breakout session similar to pre games, you know, strategic kickoff planning session, and, you know, came up with a brand, statement, mission statement, and our core values, and the seven were good, and they were specific, and they all had a story behind them. But they were seven, so it was difficult when we were bringing new people on, you know, you got to remember these seven things to try to, you know, make decisions. And, you know, at the time, we decided to consolidate to three, it's, there's a rule in the military, the rule of three is where, you know, if you have three things, it's a lot easier to keep track of, remember, focus on. You know, using your subconscious to make those decisions and to guide you.

1. Brining your company's core values to life and using them to help make decisions.

So, we, we consolidated the seven into three. And it's definitely the right thing to do. I think how about any employee in our company can rattle these off. And, you know, we hear people making decisions and throwing in one or two of the core values, along with their statement of why they made the decision as part of that sentence is not just, you know, hey, we follow this core value. It's, you know, or good job so and so for building peace of mind for a customer at this address. By, you know, being legendary; by, you know, stopping on the way home on a Friday night at six o'clock because you saw something of frozen furnace exhaust pipe on the backside of a house. So, the core values are very much alive in the, in the business. And it's, it's really cool to see.

Steve Baker 12:00

That is cool. I love that because it's I love to be in any company where you hear the core values being used in everyday conversation in the hallways of the business. I mean, that means like you said, they are truly alive. That's awesome.

Rich Armstrong 12:15

It is, it is. Hey Art, you first showed interest in the business starting right at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. How did you learn about the Great Game? And what were you really hoping to find?

Art Goldammer 12:30

You know, I honestly came across the Cash Management Podcast from, I don't remember if it was from scaling up had sent it out, or if it was Petra Coach. We worked with Petra Coach for about three years and had a good experience with them culturally. And in that sense, but really just we weren't getting actionable outcomes from it. So, but you know, we still stay engaged with some of the podcasts and things and they had Dave on as a guest for cash flow management. And I thought, you know, going into this pandemic, there's a lot of uncertainty. And, you know, our take on it was to do as much proactively as we could early on soon enough to try to get ahead of that, that we could, and we knew cash management would be a huge part of that, especially the property management side of our company, you know, we knew people would be defaulting on rent payments, we knew we had to have conversations with banks, we knew we had to get ahead of it. And just thought, you know, the way Dave presented that cash flow management using the Great Game style, and his experience was the original reason to reach out to just do a couple sessions planning sessions on cash management strategy for the pandemic. And after working with Dave and getting to know a couple guys at the Great Game, we without boy that this is a little bit different than any firm we've worked with before. And this is kind of cool. Let's, uh, let's check it out. And we're still here. And growing and thriving. So, it's, it's, it's been fun.

Rich Armstrong 14:01

Well, you'd mentioned that you worked with, you know, other methodologies, right? I think you mentioned Scale Up and Petra and others. I'm curious, what are some of the unique differences that you've seen once you started working with Dave and working with the implementation of the Great Game where what were some of the things that you thought okay, this is more actionable, or this is more relevant to my business?

Art Goldammer 14:24

I really like the industrial chunky feel of Great Game. I mean, it's a lot more applicable to you know, work home builders, land developers, you know, we're big, big kids with big toys out there in the field. And you know, it's a little rougher of a business and you know, with a little less fluff that are in other industries and I really think that that manufacturing backgrounds the you know, we're Great Game started from has a lot of that core similarities, but you know, the types of you know, you've got your leadership and management staff in manufacturing and then an industrial thing. And then you've got your workforce, which is generally blue collar. And, you know, there's a lot of parallels there for us. And, you know, a lot of the sports analogies and, you know, the way that the MiniGames are set up to, you know, two quarters, like a football game, there's just a lot of parallels. You know, Dave brought in a level of accountability that we hadn't worked with before in a coach, and, you know, to really challenge myself and challenge others on the team to, you know, to rise and overcome. As far as the actual action, action and output that we've been seeing as a difference. Like I said, you know, the other firms that we've worked with, were great for, for culture building for, for team building, for cohesion. But just really didn't, didn't focus on the things that would move the company forward. Within the least amount of time with the most results, and Great Game has done that and is doing that.

Rich Armstrong 16:08

Well, you mentioned manufacturing earlier, it's kind of a parallel. But one thing that's really different about your type of business, I would expect is that you have big projects that are laid out over months, right, not necessarily widgets, going out the door every day. And a big practice around Great Game is forecasting, right? To get ahead of it to think about what's around the corner, and what we can do differently now to affect that, can you share with our audience can how you use that process more that forecasting process in your in your business model?

Art Goldammer 16:43

Yeah, I will. And I probably asked Dave, to have a few words, on the end of this, he's been, you know, he's done a great job at, you know, adjusting the Great Game model to, for the longer time frames, and helping us walk through that process. What we really like about that is by, you know, giving the team that ability to take a weekly look at how they can impact the future. You know, we quickly found that, you know, in some of our projects can be like land development. I mean, we buy a piece of property, there might not be any revenue for two years. With home construction, you know, largely, we're selling for selling a pre-sold home, it could be up to 12 months, before we actually deliver on that product and recognize the revenue. So, a lot of the forecasting and things we're doing need to be have a lot longer, a lot longer lead time, from the action to the and the impact, depending on what type of what area of the business, you know, can affect the output. But just having that flexibility to not just look 30 days, but look, you know, three to six months out, has been very important. Really focusing on the annual plan, and then backing it into quarterly initiatives that are controllable by the team. You know, so it's been, it's been fun to dial that process in. And then to come to the, you know, come to a new solution when we realized, hey, this original timeframes a little too tight for us, we need to start looking longer out. Dave, do you have anything to, to add to that from your side of the fence?

Dave Scholten 18:19

I learned a lot, you know, from the folks at Verity Holmes, RFM, and Aaron and the team, the goal with Great Game of Business, you forecast where you're going to go. And so, a lot of it is numbers, we really, I really encourage the companies I work with to spend the same amount of time, if it takes 12 minutes to do the numbers, then we're going to spend 12 minutes on what to do to improve the numbers. Because if it's the halftime of the football game, you still can impact the end. And so, in their industry, second week of January, you really can't change January. So, to get the thinking, you know, the collaboration, the conversations going about how to improve and to change that timeframe. So, in January, we still can change February and March. And so, by adding a little bit of time to the forecast, we were able to have a Great Game conversation about how to improve forecast.

Steve Baker 19:14

So, I've got a question around forecasting. So, it sounds to me like you're always looking further and further out, like you get good at it. And you go further out. And when you get good at that you keep going sort of like progressive overload or something. Aaron, you've worked for some pretty big companies. I'm curious, what kind of forecasting had you seen before in larger companies? And then, you know, how does that compare to what you're doing now with Great Game? 

Aaron Tackett 19:44

Yeah. I think a lot of the larger builders that I work for looked at things quarterly and annually. They but they had a tendency to focus on the quarter. And I think here since Dave has been a part has become not just a consultant through The Great Game of Business, but he's become a valued member of our team.

2. Making forecasting a part of your culture to help you be successful and plan out what goals you want to achieve.

He's taught us to, to start at the endpoint and work your way backwards. And it allows us to take a longer time frame and look at it six months, at nine months, at the end of the third quarter, and start working backwards and making sure that what we are forecasting, we're going to be able to achieve. One of the things, as Arthur mentioned, in homebuilding, because of the fact that the initial action point could be 10-12 months out from the actual result, we have to take a longer term, or a longer timeframe, and look at that. And so, we start looking at things further out and working backwards to ensure that, you know, hey, if our goal is to sell X number of homes this year, we got to make sure that before we can build homes on those or sell their homes, we have locks to build those homes, right. So, it's just it's a huge part of our culture. And it's just a huge part of what we do in order to be successful.

Steve Baker 20:55

That's very cool. In effect, what I'm hearing too is that you're literally bringing your value promise to life.

Aaron Tackett 21:04


Steve Baker 21:04

Peace of mind. I mean forecasting, the better you get at it, the more peace of mind you have,

Aaron Tackett 21:09

We can deliver . Absolutely. The more, the better chance we have of making sure that we deliver on the promise that we get our customers, and that's what we want to make sure we do every day.

Steve Baker 21:17

I love it. I love it. Tons of integrity there. Guys, this is kind of for both of you Art and Aaron, you guys have seen some pretty impressive results, both financially and in terms of your people since you first started working with Dave. I'm curious, what is your biggest impact? What's the one thing that really stands out to you since you've started working with Dave?

Art Goldammer 21:45

Working with Dave. [Laughter] It's really hard. Steve, for me to pick just one thing, because it's been so many things. I would say the relentless focus and push towards making sure that our entire team is the right team, the right people in the right seats has been, I'd say the number one biggest impact. Aaron?

Aaron Tackett 22:10

Yeah, I would say every Friday, Dave and I have conversation coaching session, and it's become an irreplaceable part of my week. The questions that he asked me the direction that he leads me down the conversations that we have. When I'm finished with the conversation with Dave, I'm so I'm just excited about the day, the week, the month, the quarter. And he's just he's become an irreplaceable part of our team.

Steve Baker 22:42

And that's great. Well, before Dave gets too big of a head, I just want you to know, whenever I leave a conversation with Dave, I'm usually like, damn, I just got the beat down [Laughter]. But it's important to have a you know, I mean, the word coach really comes to mind, right? Because that always challenging you always pressing you to go, you know, be your best and to help you see things that maybe the team isn't seeing yet.

Art Goldammer 23:10

I think that's one of the things I appreciate most is the perspective that he brings. Mm hmm. Sometimes we can get, you know, in the fog of war mentality because we're so focused on just what we're trying to accomplish every day, every week, every month. Dave brings an outside perspective that sometimes helps clear that fog away and creates more of a laser focus for us.

Steve Baker 23:29

Yeah, gotcha.

Dave Scholten 23:33

I think what I've enjoyed, if you don't mind, Steve,

Steve Baker 23:36


Dave Scholten 23:36

I've enjoyed that. The folks are very athletically minded. And one of the reasons it's worked well is they, and I apologize to Rory, the sales guy once for pushing too hard. You know, and he said, Don't stop, push harder. And I'm just okay, here's the door. The ability to challenge them and, you know, ask them to consider things differently, you know, has worked well with the kind of style I like to use sometimes.

Rich Armstrong 24:06

Sometimes, I think that's all the time, right Dave? You got one style and it works.

Steve Baker 24:12

Well, everybody, yeah, the best coaching relationship I think is based on the personality and Dave, you said that I mean, your personality and your style and your approach fit Verity's competitive and kind of tough let's go get it done kind of thing while we're taking care of the customer. You know, our people and of course the I love how it even goes to the bank. You know, nobody cares about the bank. But you guys take it all the way I love that.

Rich Armstrong 24:45

Well, hey, like everyone out there. We're dealing with some people challenges, right. This whole idea for war for talent. It's very challenging right now for everybody. I'm curious about what impact has playing The Great Game of Business had on your ability to attract and retain employees, I know this is a big topic that comes from Dave, he's on me about it all the time, right.

Art Goldammer 25:09

I would say on that note that, you know, there's so many positives when you're when you're onboarding and recruiting anybody. I mean, we've been, you know, through some of our other consultancies, we've moved to a, you know, somewhat semi-transparent, open-book management style ahead of working with Great Game. However, I think a lot of people on the team didn't really understand how it worked, where it came from, you know, why this money was spent here and why we couldn't spend it over here. And, you know, with the Great Game financial portion, especially teaching the Profit Loss balance sheets to the entire company, gave a lot of that understanding to the entire team that really allowed them to understand what they were seeing why they were seeing it, what they could do to impact it, when we do go to the forecasting, and where they do have a voice and do have a part in affecting the outcome and the stake in the game. So, I would say, you know, that part of it would be the most standout differentiator, that's, you know, really done a had a major impact.

3. How The Great Game of Business helps to create financially responsible employees.

Aaron Tackett 26:23

I think the open-book management style creates a more fiscally responsible employee, someone who feels like they do have more control over their future in the in the organization. And I think it's a much easier conversation when someone asks for something, and you explain why you can or why you can't do something now and why it's got to be pushed to next quarter and their understanding of our books and what we're trying to accomplish. I truly believe it creates more buy in and creates more of an ownership mentality more of an entrepreneurial mentality. And that's what we're all about. And I think it does help us go out and try and attract a better new hire. 

Art Goldammer 27:04

You know, guys to add to what Aaron said, you know, when I'm having a conversation with a prospective employee, when I start talking about that open-book management style, our, you know, our team forecasting our team planning. I think that's pretty not typical out there in the market, especially in our industry. And, you know, we found with millennials, with Gen Z, that we find good ones, they're just as good workers as extra boomers. And I think that's largely because they feel like they're not just someone standing at a machine and stamping a button all day that they're actually making an impact. And I think really, the differences from those generations to, you know, my generations and prior were, you know, you my generation prior you showed up, you did your work, that was your satisfaction. I think the younger generations really, really, really just want to be felt and accepted in society as a contributor to society. You know, starting out from their guidance counselor's to, in high school, to go to college to do these great things, get this degree. You know, they've got that so entrenched that, you know, there's not really that reality check until you get out into the world, in the world in the workforce of oh, I have to put in my time. And you know, you know, through the Great Game, and through, you know, our recruiting style, we're able to have those conversations, and you know, that really draws in a lot of people knowing that they can make an impact. Even if it's a cleanup kid coming in, you know, as summers during college, that kid still is a part of the Great Game and still has an impact on the whole picture, we make sure that that's understood. And I think that's been a huge differentiator for us.

Rich Armstrong 28:50

That's kind of interesting how this all circles back to your brand promise a piece of mind. You know, I mean, it, it does give that employee that peace of mind and know what's going on. Right? What's really going on around me. I'm curious, a little follow up question is that where did you have any concerns or fears about opening up?

Aaron Tackett 29:11

No, I'm, that's me by nature. I wear my heart on my sleeve. And I'm an open book. So, for me, it's really easy. Yeah. We, when we first did it, we had some other leadership team, but ironically, that are no longer with us. But you know that that really fought me on it. And, you know, my take was this is, you know, I feel it's the wave of the future, you know, in these times of, you know, our country's growth and expansion and you know, technology and there's so much change going on and there's so much competitiveness in the market. And again, you have to provide something bigger than just a paycheck or bigger than just a line on a resume for someone you have to make an impact in their life. Not just work life, but work life that can impact their family life to really, again, have the full human experience. And that's important to, you know, to me and to an entire our entire leadership team and, you know, a lot of the people we get that, you know, come in on referrals or, or a word of mouth that they're drawn to that, you know, they've heard about it, they want to be part of that culture. And, you know, bringing people together is super important. So, you know, no, I was never, I was never hesitant to go to the open-book management style is I feel it makes sense. Yeah.

Rich Armstrong 30:35

Well, that was helpful. I think it's helpful for our audience to hear what you know, the reasons behind that, right. Why you think that that is needed? Because people struggle with it. I think less people are struggling with it today, I think they're looking at it as an opportunity rather than a need. So that's very, very helpful. Thanks for sharing that.

Steve Baker 30:54

I'd like to throw it on that too, because Aaron, I'd like any comments that you've got, because you've seen big and small, right? And it'd be very interesting to know, did I hear this right? Did you say you want your people to have the full human experience? Art?

Art Goldammer 31:09


Steve Baker 31:10

What kind of a freak are you? Because no one does that. But seriously, isn't that amazing? I'm talking about so I I'm telling you at the, at the end of the year, we were hearing from people that we were talking to you that there's really a spiritual kind of a thing about Great Game, or an element of it that's beyond because there's a lot of folks who are Christian, or folks who have a very, you know, people oriented thing, they care, right, that's they have a heart. And what's interesting of what Rich said just now is more and more people will be drawn to this transparency stuff, because younger generations will want it, I have a theory that we'll see a bump in, in the, you know, open book style, but I think we'll also see a fallout of people when they're like, hmm, okay, I've had enough of that, because they don't have the heart for it. Would you agree with that?

Art Goldammer 32:05

I would, and to tie in your comment about, you know, different religious connotations. And you know, how people, you know, how you're seeing more of that, I think, when people belong to, you know, a church or a religion, again what is it? It's that sense of belief in something, it's that sense of hope, it's that sense of, you know, being part of a team being part of something. And open-book management really does do that with, you know, in addition to the, you know, the other factors of Great Game, of forecasting, of working together of collaboration of, you know, of teamwork. There's a lot of parallels there, again, going back to the human experience that, you know, we want to all be heard, we want to make an impact. We want to leave society, most of us better than, you know, it was when we got there. And, you know, the Great Game is able to, I think, bring that to a company and come uncover a lot of those bases.

Steve Baker 33:04

Aaron, any thought?

Aaron Tackett 33:05

Yeah, I think one of the things that, you know, one of the reasons I guess, why Great Game of Business seems to work so well with our organization or within our organization is because of Arthur, because he is all those things. He's a highly ethical, highly moral, very transparent person who, who expects us to, to look towards the future and, and move towards that future, through forecasting and all the things that a Great Game of Business is about, it's about, you know, creating a team and belief and all those things that he just mentioned, he is absolute, he lives the great game of business, he has a Great Game of Business. And I think that's one of the reasons why it works so well in his culture. Because every single day, we get to see his we get to see in real life.

Steve Baker 33:52

Love that. Lead by example. I was hoping to see if we could get Dave Scholten to cry a little bit after hearing all the soft side. So, let's go the other way and talk about hardcore future vision here. One of the things that you two have to do every single day is paint a picture of the future that a lot of your people probably can't even imagine. What is the future for Verity Homes? Think big time like 10 years down the road? What are we looking at?

Art Goldammer 34:20

200 million in revenue.

Rich Armstrong 34:26

So why is that important to you Art?

Art Goldammer 34:30

Because it's important to the team. And, you know, through bringing Aaron on and through some of his vision and collaboration with the leadership team and with other team members. You know that number got bigger than it was before Aaron came along and I think it's really cool that the team wants to go there. And it's exciting for me and it's an invigorating and inspiring and, you know, I'm not scared to get after it. So, you know, it's that's really cool. I don't know, of course, I forgot what that's going to look like, um, how much is going to be homebuilding? How much is going to be land development how much could be support businesses that we layered into it to help, again, deliver on our brand promise ultimately. Not sure what that's going to look like fully, but that is our target. And you know, getting through the planning process and the strategic forecasting, backed into the quarterly forecasting and quarterly initiatives, you know, we're going that direction. And that's a pretty easy, clear target. And it's our job through working with Great Game and Dave to, to get there incrementally over time, and to not lose sight of that of that number.

Steve Baker 35:45

I love it.

Rich Armstrong 35:48

And it's great, that's great. Well, hey, we like to wrap up these podcasts because we're lazy, and we don't want to come up with more questions we get to explain to you. What question are we missing? What questions should we be asking?

Art Goldammer 36:03

My would be just to make sure that, you know, to be really asking potential clients, and encouraging potential clients, as well as your coaches, to shop around together a little bit to make sure that there's that really good fit, there may be a company that comes to Great Game that, you know, could be a little less softer, but respond to a little bit more of the, of the culture minded only, you know, more culture focused instead of more, you know, drive and output focus that could have some major impacts, I think, pairing that relationship up, you know, correctly, you know, could be something that would be really good to take a look at. You know, the team I've met had a Great Game, I could see from some of the coaches that I've met or former coaches. There's definitely some differences in personalities. And, yeah, I know what that's like, for example, Aaron's personality and experience is going to have some strengths, that I don't have to get to that next level, in the CEO position, and you know, I'm going to be better served doing things that you know, Aaron might not be as better suited to do and vice versa. So, it's a really, really asked us questions about, you know, where a company wants to go initially, what culture style they currently have? How much change they're willing to take on? Some of those things I think, could really be impactful for a new client.

Rich Armstrong 37:39

That's really, really good advice. I think one of our strategic moves is they open up a dating app for coaches, right. Just swipe left or right, right? [Laughter] Dave would have a much better-looking profile on his app than he has today if that if we if we launched that.

Steve Baker 38:02

Oh, I love it. As you know, I like to take notes during the podcast. And this is a summary of what I heard. First of all, peace of mind represents Verity's brand promise, but it also represents what they're trying to do for all the stakeholders. And this is really unusual, the employees, customers, the trades, but even the bank. Another one core values, the team came up with seven, they consolidated it down to three, protect it, find the win and be legendary. And one of the reasons for this is the three is easier to remember and implement. Kind of that military rule of three. And these core values are alive and well in the hallways and job sites at Verity. Having used other methodologies for team building and cohesion, Great Game provides accountability and waves to move the business forward, kind of next level stuff. Forecasting is one of those practices. It gives the team a way to see how they impact the future. And they're always looking further and further out because it gives them visibility and also gives them peace of mind. They've got a real relentless focus on the team making sure the right people are in the right seats. Also, a coach can provide a different reference point some objectivity and even challenge to keep the momentum up. Open-book management creates a more fiscally responsible employee who has a deeper understanding of how every dollar is spent and how it impacts the bottom line. It also creates more buy in and entrepreneurial spirit. As we talked about our younger generations. You guys said that they were great. They just want to be heard they want to be felt they want to know they make an impact. Arthur is an open book guy by nature. Some former leaders, emphasis on former, fought him on transparency but you have to provide something bigger than a paycheck. Make a real impact on what Arthur called the full human experience. And that will draw the right people to your organization, kind of addressing that war for talent, situation. A sense of hope, and belief is really important to that full human experience as well. And vision of the future is important to the team in order to achieve that future. And then finally, one of the things that Arthur and Aaron mentioned was to look for the right personality fit when you're looking for coaches or consultants make sure that that they really fit what you're trying to do and where you're going. And those are my notes. Well, you guys, it's been great Arthur, and Aaron and Dave, really appreciate you guys being here. You really make this sort of content come alive, and you really set an example for others to follow. So, thank you very much for being here.

Art Goldammer 40:58

Thanks for having us.

Aaron Tackett 41:00

Thanks for having me.

Rich Armstrong 41:01

Thank you, guys.

Dave Scholten 41:02

Thanks Rich.

Steve Baker 41:04

All right, folks. Let's keep the conversation going. Send us your questions and your stories, your best practices, your ideas, your challenges, and of course, your victories because that's capitalism at its best. Thanks for joining us, and we'll see you next time.

Announcer 41:18

The "Change The Game" Podcast is produced by the Great Game of Business. To learn more, visit


Topics: Company Culture, Employee Engagement, Financial Forecasting, Leadership, Transparency, Construction, Sustainable Business

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Hosted by Rich Armstrong and Steve Baker the Change the Game podcast highlights true life stories of organizations influencing positive change by doing business differently. They’re teaching people how business works and closing the gap between the haves and have-nots. It’s capitalism at its best. Inside each episode, you’ll discover stories of entrepreneurs who are Changing the Game.

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